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COLUMN: Learn about and fight your sign’s gender identity

<p>The astrological glyphs for Venus and Mars are used to symbolize the female-male gender binary.</p><p></p>

The astrological glyphs for Venus and Mars are used to symbolize the female-male gender binary.

Astrology is full of gendered nonsense.

You might already know your sun sign’s element. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are all fire signs. Aquarius is an air sign and not a water sign, perplexingly enough.

But the signs are also divided into the gender binary — masculine and feminine signs. Conventional astrology books classify Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius as masculine. All of these are air and fire signs. Earth and water signs are feminine: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.

A masculine sign like Gemini is considered assertive, directing energy outward and affecting the world. Feminine signs like Cancer are supposedly receptive and self-contained.

People can react weirdly to finding out their sun sign comes with a gender. A Virgo man might find it emasculating. An Aquarius woman could have a crisis of femininity.

I know reading about gentle Pisces for over a decade of my life affected me. I’ve swung across a spectrum of gender performance and found Pisces’ femininity either validating or restrictive.

Astrology is popular with non-men my age, many of whom occupy progressive movements, queer spaces and live outside the gender binary. How do we reconcile astrology’s gross reliance on gender?

I reclassify the dualities as extraversion versus introversion.

If you consider gender identity a spectrum, you can also see the dualities as a reflection of how our individual identities hold shades of femininity and masculinity.

But feminist astrologers have a lot of culture to fight against.

The gender symbols used in biology and in LGBTQ spaces are the astrological glyphs for Venus and Mars. Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. Mars is the Roman god of war.

Sign stereotypes reek of misogyny. Feminine Scorpio’s ruling planets are Mars and Pluto, gods of war and the underworld. Classical astrology texts describe Scorpios as intense, amoral sex fiends who’ll fight and have sex with anyone. Identifying this depravity as feminine is a loaded statement.

And the fact that air, the element associated with the mind and intellect, is reserved for masculine signs infuriates me.

Transits for March 24-30

Mercury conjunct Neptune, March 24: We’re in for a deeply Piscean period. Neptune is hanging out in its native sign of Pisces until 2025. Mercury will be in Pisces until the end of April. Neptune is our imagination and spiritual growth.

Communicative Mercury sitting on top of Neptune makes this is a time for magical thinking. There’s potential for creative breakthrough in the beginning of this week. Neptune and Pisces offer intuition and empathy, so this aspect also offers space for listening to others and understanding their needs.

Venus enters Pisces, March 26: Venus, the planet of love and beauty, is giving in the sign of Pisces. Pisces dives deep and is unconcerned with boundaries and looking cool. Venus will be here until April 20, so it’s time to let go of self-consciousness. Venus is ready for love and connection to the point of indulgence. Shoot your shot, but don’t forget yourself.

Mercury goes direct, March 28: Mercury retrograde ends Thursday. But it’s still in Pisces until April 17. Our thoughts still turn inward and away from the material world, but at least we’re sober again. Think of astrological retrogrades like drunk planets.

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